Sports

The Best Tight Ends in the NFL 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated October 18, 2019 22.1k votes 2.6k voters 27.6k views 33 items

Tight ends have become an integral piece to a football team's offense. In the past, tight ends have mostly served as extra offensive lineman to help with run blocking and an occasional pair of hands to catch a defense off-guard. But the game has changed significantly recent years.

Big, athletic, pass catching tight ends have allowed offenses to stretch the field and are an added threat in today's predominantly pass-first NFL. The influx of these players has changed the way defenses prepare for an opposing team and now have to take account players they wouldn't have had to worry about in the past. For many years, Tony Gonzalez was considered the preeminent tight end for his rare combination of speed and power. He is widely looked at the greatest tight end to play the game. Gonzalez was the first in this era for tight ends. Players like New England's Rob Gronkowski, San Francisco's Vernon Davis and New Orleans' Jimmy Graham are three examples of these bigger, faster tight end who have followed in Gonzalez's footsteps.

Vote for the tight end you think is the best in the NFL right now. The definition for who you consider to be the top tight end is open-ended. It can be one of the pass catchers from above or a blocking tight end. No matter what definition you choose, be sure to vote for your favorite tight end. Then head over and check out the best NFL players of the 2010s.

list ordered by
1
Travis Kelce is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Travis Kelce Kansas City Chiefs

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Westlake, Ohio

Age: 30

Check out more of the best Chiefs tight ends of all-time.

More Travis Kelce 

#496 of 1,556 The Best Football Players Ever #103 of 145 The Best Hot Ones Guests Ever

2
Zach Ertz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
slaft added Zach Ertz Philadelphia Eagles

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Orange, California

Age: 28

Check out more of the best Eagles tight ends of all-time.

More Zach Ertz 

#4 of 49 The Best Stanford Football Players of All Time #24 of 90 The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

3
Greg Olsen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Carolina Panthers

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Wayne, New Jersey

Age: 33

Check out more of the best Panthers tight ends of all-time.

4
Jimmy Graham is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Green Bay Packers

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Goldsboro, North Carolina

Age: 29

Check out more of the best Packers tight ends of all-time.

More Jimmy Graham 

#222 of 1,556 The Best Football Players Ever #11 of 90 The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

5
Jason Witten is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Dallas Cowboys

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Elizabethton, Tennessee, United States of America

Age: 36

Check out more of the best Cowboys tight ends of all-time.

More Jason Witten 

#4 of 59 The Best University of Tennessee Football Players Ever #109 of 1,556 The Best Football Players Ever #2 of 57 The Best College Football Tight Ends of All Time

6
George Kittle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
George Kittle San Francisco 49ers

Position: Tight end

Check out more of the best 49ers tight ends of all-time.

7
Kyle Rudolph is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio

Age: 29

Check out more of the best Vikings tight ends of all-time.

8
Jordan Reed is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Washington Redskins

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: New Britain, Connecticut

Age: 28

Check out more of the best Redskins tight ends of all-time.

More Jordan Reed 

#52 of 111 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time #17 of 86 The Best University of Florida Football Players of All Time

9
Delanie Walker is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Tennessee Titans

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Pomona, California

Age: 34

Check out more of the best Titans tight ends of all-time.

10
Evan Engram is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
New York Giants

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Powder Springs, Georgia

Age: 24

Check out more of the best Giants tight ends of all-time.

11
Tyler Eifert is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Tyler Eifert Cincinnati Bengals

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Age: 28

Check out more of the best Bengals tight ends of all-time.

12
David Njoku is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Cleveland Browns

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Check out more of the best Browns tight ends of all-time.

More David Njoku 

#72 of 90 The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time #53 of 64 The Best Miami Football Players of All Time #122 of 151 The Best Cleveland Browns of All Time

13
Jared Cook is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Jared Cook New Orleans Saints

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama

Age: 31

Check out more of the best Saints tight ends of all-time.

14
Eric Ebron is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Allmighty_O added Eric Ebron Indianapolis Colts

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey

Age: 25

Check out more of the best Colts tight ends of all-time.

15
Hunter Henry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Los Angeles Chargers

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas

Check out more of the best Chargers tight ends of all-time.

16
Vernon Davis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Washington Redskins

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

Age: 35

More Vernon Davis 

#342 of 1,556 The Best Football Players Ever #71 of 111 The Greatest Washington Redskins of All Time

17
Austin Hooper is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Austin Hooper Atlanta Falcons

Position: Tight end

Check out more of the best Falcons tight ends of all-time.

18
DELETE is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Position: O.J. Howard

19
Vance McDonald is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
TRENT13 added Pittsburgh Steelers

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Winnie, Texas

Age: 28

Check out more of the best Steelers tight ends of all-time.

20
Trey Burton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
TRENT13 added Chicago Bears

Position: Tight end/Fullback

Birthplace: Venice, Florida

Age: 27

Check out more of the best Bears tight ends of all-time.

21
Mark Andrews is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
TRENT13 added Baltimore Ravens

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Check out more of the best Ravens tight ends of all-time.

22
Jack Doyle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Jack Doyle Indianapolis Colts
23
Charles Clay is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Charles Clay Arizona Cardinals

Position: Fullback, Tight end

Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas

Age: 30

More Charles Clay 

#747 of 1,556 The Best Football Players Ever #87 of 90 The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

24
Darren Waller is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
Oakland Raiders

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Landover, Maryland, USA

Age: 26

Check out more of the best Raiders tight ends of all-time.

25
Benjamin Watson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Tight Ends in the NFL
New England Patriots

Position: Tight end

Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia

Age: 38

More Benjamin Watson 

#49 of 51 The Most Likable Active NFL Players #18 of 50 The Best University of Georgia Football Players of All Time